Two key infrastructure projects for Mumbai — the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) and Nariman Point redevelopment plan — are likely to be presented to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in the coming days. Officials said the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was set to make a fresh bid for execution control of these projects.
The MMRDA and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) have both put forward proposals for the 22.5-km Sewri-Nhava sea link and the Nariman Point redevelopment. They are awaiting the nod of the chief minister, who also holds charge of the urban development department.
Sources said a decision on these projects was expected before the visit of US President Barack Obama. “We had worked out an arrangement for both. A meeting of MSRDC and MMRDA officials was planned, which never took place owing to the Adarsh scam and President Obama’s visit,” a senior bureaucrat said.
He, however, refused to say anything about the “arrangement” worked out. “Now the new chief minister has to settle down and then only he would take up the issue... it will take some time.”
The NCP-controlled MSRDC is the nodal agency for these projects while the Congress-controlled MMRDA has sought their executive control as it is financially stronger than the MSRDC. The Rs 8,000-crore MTHL project, which has been on the drawing board since 1970s, seemed to have gained momentum two years ago when two consortiums headed by Mukesh and Anil Ambani bid for it.
The latter won, only to be disqualified for what the government said was an “unrealistic bid”. The bridge is a key piece in the link to the proposed airport as it will connect central Mumbai to Navi Mumbai across the sea and reduce distance to Panvel, where the new airport site is located.